THE NECESSARY HUNGER by Nina Revoyr

THE NECESSARY HUNGER

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Low-key but refreshing girls 'n' the `hood debut novel about a pair of furiously competitive basketball stars searching for love and certainty in the dank gymnasiums and mean streets of South Central L.A. The familiar inner-city downers of racism, crime, family disintegration, and sports-as-salvation are handled with extraordinary intelligence and sensitivity in this episodic story. Teenager Nancy Takahiro, a shy, six-foot Japanese-American basketball player, lives in a small suburban tract house with her divorced father, Wendell, a high-school math teacher and football coach. When Wendell invites his girlfriend, divorcÇe Claudia Webber, a circulation manager for the L.A. Times, to move in with him, Claudia, an African-American, brings her daughter, Raina Webber, a ferociously aggressive basketball star who plays at a different high school that's in a different league. The two girls are not only the same age but also ``members of the family''--that is, lesbian. As their parents endure racial stigmatism from former friends, what could have been a simple sibling rivalry becomes something far more complicated as Nancy becomes emotionally--and sexually--infatuated with Raina, who, though five inches shorter than Nancy, has the gutsy, American street-smart confidence that Nancy feels she lacks. Author Revoyr dodges the easy clichÇs of ghetto melodrama--nobody gets pregnant or has a drug problem here; everybody has enough to eat; and violence and crime, while evident, happen elsewhere--as she sends Nancy and Raina toward an ultimate confrontation in a league playoff, where Nancy's turbulent uncertainties about herself, as well as her unrequited affection for Raina, make the outcome of the game more than a matter of winning or losing. A quietly intimate, vigorously honest, and uniquely American hoop dream: tough and tender, without a single false note.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-83234-8
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1996




BOOKS ABOUT BASKETBALL FOR TEENS:

Children BOY21 by Matthew Quick
by Matthew Quick
Children THE FINAL FOUR by Paul Volponi
by Paul Volponi
Children HEAD GAMES by Keri Mikulski
by Keri Mikulski
Children TILT by Alan Cumyn
by Alan Cumyn

MORE BY NINA REVOYR

FictionWINGSHOOTERS by Nina Revoyr
by Nina Revoyr
FictionTHE AGE OF DREAMING by Nina Revoyr
by Nina Revoyr
FictionSOUTHLAND by Nina Revoyr
by Nina Revoyr